About a Gigabit home/small bus router

Discussion in 'Network Routers' started by Harry Putnam, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Harry Putnam

    Harry Putnam Guest

    setup: 7-9 machines on home lan, with some business conducted as well
    as regular home use.

    For a very long time I've used a NETGEAR FVS-318 router/firewall

    But finally had to switch to something with gigabit lan ports. After
    googling around I was scared off by bad reviews on the Netgear models
    offering Gigabit lan ports, and finally ended up picking a cicso

    For 2 main reasons I'm not very happy with it. (several lessor ones

    For one thing the darn thing was ruled at the `end of life' by cisco
    some time ago.... but retailers still sell it with no mention of that

    | Aside: Does anyone know how to ascertain that sort of information, or
    | at least when a certain product was first introduced?
    | Is there anything normally in a spec that gives that kind of info
    | Is there some quick way to get that sort of information?

    But more importantly, I'm not able to get detailed logs, like I was with
    the netgear. I like to see what is coming at me, even if it is being
    blocked. The netgear would say what IP at what source port => to
    local IP at what dest port, and usually some (really brief) annotation of

    The kind of thing I get from the Cisco says something like(wrapped for

    No.004 Mar 13 14:32:20 - \
    [Firewall Log-PORT SCAN] TCP Packet - \ -->

    Pretty thin. No port info at all.
    ------- --------- ---=--- --------- --------

    But even worse is the fact that I see no way to tell the dhcp server
    to always serve the same address to certain hosts or MACs.

    Something that is often easier than setting a static IP (On some OS

    ------- --------- ---=--- --------- --------

    OK, cutting to the chase finally. Can any of you suggest routers that
    are capable of the items discussed above:
    1) Most important: Gigabit lan ports.
    2) fairly detailed logs (mailable or sent to log server)
    3) Ability to tell dhcp server to always serve the same
    address to specific hosts or MAC addresses

    And in case anyone thinks of answers involving DMZ Hosts inside the
    lan... I don't want to mess with that... to much upkeep and work.
    I'm wanting 1 piece of hardware that does the basic job, but also can
    do the 3 main things listed above.

    Then of course some decent level of reliability would be nice...
    Harry Putnam, Mar 17, 2011
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  2. Harry Putnam

    Char Jackson Guest

    If you were otherwise happy with your old router, except for the lack
    of Gigabit LAN ports, I would have simply added a Gigabit switch in
    front of that router. That would have been less expensive, easier to
    implement, and less disruptive to the rest of your network. All of the
    internal LAN traffic would have been at Gigabit speed (if the two
    endpoints were capable), and the Internet link would have remained as
    it was before, complete with all of the features that you're missing
    Char Jackson, Mar 17, 2011
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  3. Harry Putnam

    Harry Putnam Guest


    I'm probably missing something or just not visualizing correctly how
    it would work with a gigabit switch in front of the router.
    I'm not intentionally trying to be a knucklehead but just not
    understanding how this might work.

    Maybe just confused over the usage of the term `in front'.

    1) wouldn't the switch then need to talk to my Internet service, since
    the switch is `in front' of the router. (See diagram below)

    2) wouldn't the logging have to take place on the switch in that case?
    (See diagram below)

    None of that makes any sense with this scheme, so I'm pretty sure you
    mean something different than the diagram below:

    I'm thinking you mean:


    Or something like that, if the switch is `in front'

    ------- --------- ---=--- --------- --------

    So knowing you are not likely to be talking nonsense I'm guessing you
    mean something more like this:

    | | | | | |
    Lan Machines

    But then isn't the switch `behind' rather than `in front'?

    ------- --------- ---=--- --------- --------

    Please, if you have time and inclination describe what you mean a
    little more... maybe assume you are talking to a really slow learner.

    Also, any recommendation for such a switch, or for just a router with
    the gigabit lan ports that allow the things I described. (I don't
    mean just a router that says it will do these things, but something
    from your personal knowledge)

    The items I want to be sure are covered:

    (Detailed logging showing host:port of source and dest and comment to
    indicated why dropped.

    Including ability to `tag' logs.

    Built in DHCP server

    Ability to setup dhcp service that serves the same IP to a mapped
    MAC address

    Ability to settup DMZ (in case I get a hankering to do that)

    So, a recommendation of both a switch, to do what you described and
    keep using my old router. And a router with gigabit lan ports that
    can do the things described above, would be very valuable on this end.

    Once again, I'm asking about things you actually have personal
    experience with or know other users who have such experience/

    Any comments you may have concerning how to tell when a router or
    switch or whatever was first rolled out. That is, when it was first
    released for sale and dated versions if that is applicable.
    Harry Putnam, Mar 19, 2011
  4. Harry Putnam

    Harry Putnam Guest

    Sorry about these big ponderous responses:

    Something I forgot to ask:

    Does such a switch have an IP? Would lan computers still be `default
    routed'd' to the old router or does that all change to the switch?

    Again with my dorky diagrams:

    What I actually had with my old NETGEAR router/firewall (in brief):

    NETGEAR router / firewall (non-gigabit capable)
    | | |
    | two none gigabit capable lan machines
    Two gigibit switches
    linked together
    | | | |
    | | | |
    several gigabit capable lan machines

    NOTE: All machines are default route'd to the NETGEARs' IP

    ------- --------- ---=--- --------- --------

    I think the gigabit switches might be what you are talking about.

    The actual hardware is:
    3com Office connect gigabit switch

    1: 8 port
    1: 5 port

    With that, it appeared by (non-scientific) measurements of data
    coming thru that even on the gigabit capable machines I only achieved
    what one might expect of 100mb adapters.

    I assumed it was because the default route caused data to flow thru
    the router regardless if it was between two of the gigabit capable

    Am I wrong to think that is how data would flow, or would the gigabit
    capable machines be talking directly to each other, even though there
    default route was the IP of the NETGEAR?

    ------- --------- ---=--- --------- --------

    I can say that when I installed a gigabit capable router in place of
    the netgear, my tranfer rates jumped up significantly, which seemed to
    confirm my guess that data was flowing thru the router because of it
    being the default route. Maybe something else explains it.

    I have no really good reason to claim that any of this is actually how
    it worked and could stand some guidance on how data would flow in
    brief diagram I posted here. And some clarity on what it means to
    have a default route assigned to a host.

    Does it mean that data follows that route only? That is, that in the
    diagram above, any conversation between two of the gigabit capable
    machines would flow thru the non-gigabit capable router.

    If that is not the case then I'm really unclear about what a default
    route really does. (probably very unclear about all the rest of it too)
    Harry Putnam, Mar 19, 2011
  5. Harry Putnam

    Char Jackson Guest

    Sorry about that, I guess "in front" and "behind" are all about the
    perspective. I meant the way you show it in your second diagram above.
    From the perspective of sitting at your PC and looking toward your
    router, the switch would be between the PCs and the router.

    Your old router would continue to be the unit that talks to your ISP
    and would also continue to be the unit that does all of the cool
    logging and IP address reservations, etc. The switch is transparent.
    It neither has, nor cares about, IP addresses.
    I use a D-Link DGS-2208 8-port Gigabit switch to aggregate my
    Gigabit-capable PCs, and I have multiple 100Mbps switches scattered
    around that are connected to my slower devices. I 'waste' a LAN port
    on the slow switches which I use to uplink them to the Gig switch
    since I had some open ports there.

    For routers, I'm running multiple Linksys WRR54GL's with dd-wrt
    firmware, but they don't have Gig ports so they don't meet your needs.
    You could poke around at <http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/> where they
    have tons of info on routers, their capabilities, and features.

    The easy way out, though, is to place a Gigabit switch between your
    old router and your various PCs. Connect one of the Gig ports to a LAN
    port on your router, then connect your PCs to the other Gig ports.
    Char Jackson, Mar 19, 2011
  6. Harry Putnam

    Char Jackson Guest

    The kind of switch I'm talking about is "unmanaged". It has no IP
    address, no web interface, and it doesn't care about routing. Nothing
    changes regarding routing. The switch operates at OSI Layer 2 while
    routing is at Layer 3.

    Besides the switch itself being Gigabit-capable, both of the PCs that
    are talking to each other also have to be Gigabit-capable and both
    have to be currently set to Gig speed, typically via auto-negotiation.
    If they are Windows machines, you can start Task Manager and select
    the Networking tab to see what speed they're connected at.
    The kind of switches I'm talking about don't know anything about
    routing or default routes. If two directly-connected PCs are
    communicating with each other, it will be a 'direct' connection
    handled within the switch. The traffic isn't forwarded farther
    upstream to a router unless the two PCs are on different logical
    networks. If they're on the same subnet they talk to each other
    through the switch.

    When your PC has traffic that it needs to send, it compares the
    destination IP to its own IP, using the Netmask so that it knows which
    part of the IP address refers to the network and which part is
    reserved for hosts. If the result of the comparison shows that the
    target is on another network, it will be sent in care of the default
    gateway. The default gateway is the first hop of the default route.

    Gee, that's so simplified that it's barely correct, but you can read
    up on it yourself as you get time.
    No, local traffic doesn't follow the default route or go through the
    default gateway. It doesn't need to since the destination is local.

    This is typically where the conversation would turn to MAC addresses
    (versus IP addresses) and ARP, but you can probably dig that up on
    your own.
    The default route is the route chosen when there isn't any other route
    that is more specific or more applicable. When you send traffic, the
    routing table is checked to see if a route has been specified for that
    destination. If not, the default route is chosen. You can view your
    Windows PC's routing table by typing "route print" at a Command
    Char Jackson, Mar 19, 2011
  7. Harry Putnam

    Harry Putnam Guest

    Hehe... yes that about clears it up.
    Many thanks for working thru my ponderous questions and answering all
    of it.

    It helped a lot.
    Harry Putnam, Mar 20, 2011
  8. Harry Putnam

    Char Jackson Guest

    Cool. Good luck!
    Char Jackson, Mar 20, 2011
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